It was October, when I arrived in Bergamo on a Friday afternoon.
My friends were waiting for me at the airport. I saw R. greeting me first. Then the rest pulled up - great to see them.
A bus took us to Milan central station. It was a fun drive, catching up and taking first pics.
It was a budget trip, yet my hotel room was neat and "velury" and tiny. It had a separate hot shower and a soft bed - all I needed.
The hotel receptionist advised to visit Navigli area, translated as "watery walks". A tram ride there is an option: relax, enjoy the ride and look out of the windows into the Milanese evening. You will not miss the stop - it is the final one.
The area was full of people, primarily young groups, sitting in cosy cafes and restaurants lit by the yellow street lights warmed by the table candles.
I was all keen to see the water dams, artificially keeping waters in the city for the city, as historically Milan did not have any river. Yet my hopes died when a local pointed out the way to the canals, adding that they stood empty ever since the city was preparing for the Expo exhibition one year.
Despite missing water, the Italian looking houses along the channels made the area look interesting. Almost every house had a cafe on the ground floor. Bridges led pedestrians from one side of the canal to the other.
Friends found a pub to dine and wine, it was delicious and joysome.
Arch of Piece and Milan City Centre
During breakfast friends decided to travel up by tram to the first sight-seeing spot and then walk to the city centre. We rode up to the arch, which symbolised the entry gate to the city.
Watery smog, typical for Milan, covered the sun and made city look Nordic - grey and dull.
Gates led to a lovely green park.
Dogs in the park were showing cute instagrammable tricks, but I could barely chase them all. So here is a snap of one of them for you:
Castello Francesco was our next stop. It separated the park from the city centre of Milan. There was a museum inside the castle, and ist exterior offered a lot of composition options for photographers: symmetry, reflection, architecture.
Cathedral Maria Nascente
The most wanted sight was the Milanese cathedral - both by me, my friends and other tourists. I have seen a lot of gothic buildings before, but Cathedral Maria Mascente was looking grotesquely sharp! Your eyes won't rest, moving from one detail to another.
It would be a challenge to photograph the whole building without people and pigeons, but I guess it is the same challenge anywhere else nowadays.
For me, it is a ritual to go inside a church, when city-travelling, and light a candle, so I did.
Vittorio Emmanuele Shopping Arcade
This shopping passage is built in a form of a cross. After shopping all the brands in the gallery, you'd probably wanna "hang yourself" on a cross or at least take a break in a cafe.
Those, who do not want to shop, but rather make a wish - can go search the mosaic bull on the floor of the gallery and rotate once (standing on bull's b*lls) - those gimmicks are believed to bring good luck.
Having local friends is a bonus. We were lucky to be shown local churches, then to browse Buenos Aires street, where we explored the night city life and enjoyed street art.
All inclusive was a way to go dining that night. We found a tiny spot outside and sat all together chatting, eating, seeing and being seen.
It was time to say good-bye to my friends and finish the weekend trip to Milan. Whatever you do, wherever you go - have fun.